Chiefs Culture Challenge: Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call – New Orleans


Kevin has chosen the movie in the title of the post for me to watch.  I immediately am skeptical of a film with both a colon and a hyphen in its title.  Overuse of punctuation means someone in charge STILL doesn’t know what this movie is actually about, even AFTER taping all of the scenes.


Coca-Cola:  A refreshing–yet sugary–drink:  have a bottle today; gain happiness tomorrow.

That Coke slogan would have kept Crystal Pepsi from flatlining.


As a backdrop, here is IMDB’s blurb on this ditty starring Nick Cage and Eva Mendes:

“Terence McDonagh is a drug- and gambling-addled detective in post-Katrina New Orleans investigating the killing of five Senegalese immigrants.”

Gee, sounds like Nick Cage.  Off we go.

The words “feature presentation” just came up.  That’s a stretch.

The opening credits feature a snake slinking through some dark, murky water.  This will, I am certain, become a terrible metaphor or simile.  The snake has now just slipped by a yellow mop bucket.  This leads to the first line of the movie:  “Duffy split.”  Nick Cage sounds positively despondent.

As two men search a locker, the first set of dialogue goes like this:

Cage:  He probably has dirty pictures of his wife.

Other man (searching): He does have dirty pictures of his wife.

Cage:  Yes he does.

Find me a weapon.

In the next scene, Nicholas Cage tells a drowning prisoner that he’s wearing 55-dollar underwear.  Evidently, this movie’s sole purpose is as a referendum on Nicholas Cage’s career.

It’s becoming painfully clear that Andy Samberg’s Nick Cage impersonation is fantastic.

Samberg as Cage

After a while–mostly featuring signs that Cage has the drug problem IMDB alluded to–Cage finds the Senegalese immigrants who have been offed.  He also finds a poem:

My friend is a fish

He live in my room

His fin is a cloud

He see me when I sleep

Read in typical Cagey hushed intensity, this is now my favorite poem, surpassing Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken.

Next, Cage is at the pharmacy–we can tell because large block lettering above the counter says “prescriptions”–when he gets a call that a drug dealer has been collared.  Cage then goes ballistic on the woman behind the counter, accusing her of making a personal call in some language that the FCC doesn’t appreciate.  After this verbal tirade, he goes on a rather irritated jaunt behind the counter to fill his own pill bottle.  Security is called.  Cage flashes a gun.  Security asks, “If you a cop, then why you actin’ so crazy?”  TNT deems this to not be drama.  They know drama.

“That’s for the DA to decide” is going to be the title of Nick Cage’s biography.   He just said the phrase with such vigor, it’s easy to tell he loves it.  He’s now showing that same energy while being bribed by a street dealer.  Impressive versatility.  Nick Cage is the Rex Hudler of superficial action movies.


You know, IMDB mentioned something about a gambling…..yeah, there it is.  Cage strolls into a sports bar and sits at a table occupied by a gray-haired man and his newspapers.  Thank you for all of the hints.  Yes, this is a bookie.

Cage decides on Louisiana -4 against Arkansas.  Seems like an odd bet.  The bookie then says “I got a favor to ask you, my kid got a speeding ticket….”  Cage interrupts and says “I’ll take care of it if you give me half a point.”

This film is filled with “OK, we get it” moments.  It’s got all the subtlety of a Bobcat Goldthwait stand-up show.

Later, Cage enters a room where some other officers are doing surveillance.  Cage sees two iguanas on the coffee table.  He asks why there are iguanas on his coffee table.  He gets this response:  “Ain’t no iguanas.”  This will be the title of my biography.

Please don’t watch this movie.

Now Nick is shaving with an electric razor while interviewing someone.  And now he has taken an old woman’s oxygen away from her in order to interrogate someone else.

When Meatloaf said he’d do anything for love, but he won’t do that….”that” meant watch this movie.

Off to the property room with Nick, now.  He’s been doing too much “cowboy [stuff]”.  Putting drug-stupored Nick Cage in the property room is to a plot what putting Mentos into a soda bottle is to a clean floor.

OK, now Nick has pulled a kid over, taken his marijuana, and bargained with him.  This is the bargain:  The kid’s a college football player for Louisiana.  If the team wins by less than five or loses, the stop never happened.  Wow.

Blah blah blah, shooting, blah blah blah more iguanas, blah blah blah everything works out in the end.  Wait, everything works out in the end?  In this movie?  With the galaxy’s biggest degenerate?  You’ve gotta be kidding me.  He gets a promotion?  Oh my gosh.  That’s like Ryan Leaf being sainted.

This movie gets 0 out of a possible anything.  Kevin says he “loves” this movie.  Kevin will be on culture trial soon.




Kevin also claims to really enjoy Pixar movies.  Yet, he hasn’t seen Cars.  This, in my opinion, is a travesty.  Next week on The Challenge, Lightning McQueen, Tow Mater and James Taylor.


Send ideas in to us at or  Tell us what stuff you want us to do….so you don’t have to do it yourself.  Books, TV, movies, food, music…whatever.



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